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Festive Spicy Orange Cake Recipe Infused with Honey & Gin Syrup by The Food DNA

This spicy orange cake recipe has everything you need this festive season – warm aroma of fresh oranges and ginger, a touch of cardamom spice, all soaked in luscious syrup with honey and gin. The dream! Oh…and it is gluten free!


– 100g polenta
– 220g ground almonds
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 3 medium eggs
– 140g cane sugar (or fine brown sugar)
– 120g butter (I used salted)
– 50g olive oil
– 2 large oranges (zest and juice) – I used Emperor oranges
– 5-10 cardamom pods (depending how strong you want your cardamom aroma and taste to come though)
– 1 ½ tsp ginger powder
– 2 tbsp honey
– 5 tbsp of Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Prepare your spring form tin – Line the bottom of spring form tin with parchment paper and then secure top. Grease the sides of the pan with oil. Sprinkle polenta, move the tin around for polenta to adhere to the greased surface and create a very thin layer.
3. Prepare cardamom & ginger sugar. Smash cardamom pods with pestle to extract the seeds. Add ginger and 1tbsp of sugar. Grind mixture in a mortar with a pestle until fine powder. Don’t worry if you have bigger pieces of cardamom seeds left (separate those though sifter – important).
4. Mix together polenta, ground almonds, baking powder and spiced sugar in the bowl.
5. In a separate bowl cream butter, olive oil and sugar with a mixer; then add eggs (1 at a time) until mixture becomes silky and creamy. Mix in zest from 1 orange.
6. Using spatula or wooden spoon mix dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Don’t over mix!
7. Place mixture in the spring tin, spread to make an even layer
8. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden and skewer comes out clean.
9. While cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup. Add juice of 2 oranges, zest from 1 orange, honey and simmer in the sauce pan until reduced slightly. You can add a small piece of fresh ginger to infuse this further (optional).Turn the heat off and add the Gin.
10. Remove the cake out of the oven and pierce holes with a wooden skewer throughout the surface.
11. Pour syrup slowly all over, letting the cake absorb it.
12. Decorate with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs. Maybe a touch of golden dust just because it’s such a magical time of the year – enjoy!


Jelena Bio
With a background in clinical nutrition and pharmaceutical sciences Jelena is a self-proclaimed foodie. She combines love and passion for cooking with unique skill of being able to create dishes that taste great and are of a high nutritional value, making sure you eat the best when you do.

Her kitchen is the food lab full of soul and passion where she happily spends hours experimenting. Her recipe collection is like a treasure chest that has something for each and every one.

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